Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), also known as ubiquinone, is a fat-soluble molecule that is vitamin-like. It plays an important role in energy production and is essential for those organs that have high energy requirements – such as the heart, liver and kidney. It had been discovered that people with heart failure suffer from CoQ10 deficiency. Their condition gets more severe when the deficiency is more pronounced.
A group of researchers from the Heart Center at Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark studied the effects of coenzyme Q10 on heart failure patients. When patients took 100 milligrams of CoQ10 three times a day, the effects on their heart condition were very positive, which gave credibility to CoQ10 therapy.
The Danish study was a randomized controlled trial. 420 patients with moderate to severe heart failure were followed for two years. Half of the participants received CoQ10 three times a day, while the other half received a placebo.
By the end of the study, deaths in the CoQ10 group were significantly lower (18 deaths versus 36 deaths in the placebo group). Also, patients taking the supplement required less hospitalizations compared to their peers that were taking the placebo (29 versus 55).
CoQ10 is the first medication to improve survival in chronic heart failure
The findings prompted the head of the research group, Professor Svend Aage Mortensen, to announce: CoQ10 is the first medication to improve survival in chronic heart failure since ACE inhibitors and beta blockers more than a decade ago and should be added to standard heart failure therapy.
Other researchers have shown more caution. Dr. Margaret Redfield, head of the circulatory failure research group at Mayo Clinic, said that the trial is considered to be a small one and that the results need to be interpreted carefully. Dr. Gregg Fonarow, a professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a spokesman for the American Heart Association, acknowledged the study but called for a confirmatory trial.
A 2014 Cochrane Collaboration meta-analysis reviewed all of the existing randomized trials that examined CoQ10 as a treatment modality for heart failure. They concluded that there is no clear evidence to support or refute the use of coenzyme Q10 for heart failure.
Coenzyme Q10 is normally produced by the body and is needed for the function of every cell. It’s a powerful antioxidant and it’s one of my top 9 antioxidants for great health. Its levels decrease with age and may be low in people with cancer, certain genetic disorders, diabetes, heart conditions, HIV/AIDS, muscular dystrophies, and Parkinson’s disease.
Natural sources of CoQ10
Foods with largest content of this coenzyme include:
Fish (sardine, salmon, mackerel, tuna)
Oils (olive and grape seed oil)
Red meat (especially organ meat – heart, liver and kidney)
Some nuts (peanuts, pistachios, sesame seeds)
Certain fruit and vegetables (apples, berries, spinach, oranges, cauliflower, broccoli, strawberries and black currents).
If eating meat, chose grass-fed and free-range meat. As the CoQ10 is fat-soluble, it should be eaten with a meal that contains fat.
CoQ10 can also be taken as a dietary supplement. In the US, it’s regulated as food and it’s not yet approved for the treatment of any medical condition.
CoQ10 can also reduce blood pressure and it’s one of my recommended substances to naturally reduce high blood pressure.